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Mets owner Steve Cohen’s “Metropolitan Park” plan has momentum, but don’t bet on a Queens casino just yet

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NEW YORK — There’s new momentum behind New York Mets owner Steve Cohen’s vision to transform the area around Citi Field in Queens. 

Borough leaders rallied outside State Sen. Jessica Ramos’ office Monday and called on her to push legislation supporting the Metropolitan Park proposal, which includes a casino. 

“This is a great project and Jessica we’re calling out to you. We love you, but we need your help and without you this cannot go through,” said Aaliyah Rose Scott, of Jackson Heights. 

Fifty acres of asphalt around Citi Field

The proposal would transform 50 acres of asphalt around Citi Field into a sports and entertainment park. Developers say the project would bring 23,000 union jobs and provide 25 acres of public park space.

The asphalt is technically designated as public park land, so the plan needs state legislation to move forward. 

“We are capable and able to tell someone when we want something, and we’ve been saying it over and over and over and over and over again. We want Metropolitan Park. We want this for the jobs for the young people … we want this for the green space, we want this because we deserve nice things,” said Saeeda Dunston, with Elmcor Youth and Adult Services. 

Metropolitan Park would also be home to a Hard Rock Casino, which is unacceptable to some

“Imagine if a casino was being proposed for Central Park in Manhattan. None of those people living around the park would allow that,” said John Choe, with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. 

Ramos told CBS New York she’s keeping an open-door policy for Queens residents to weigh in on Metropolitan Park. 

“Steve Cohen is doing his job trying to win support for his casino bid, and I’m doing mine in Albany representing my constituents,” Ramos added. 

New York casino licenses delayed 

The process of New York state awarding the limited number of casino licenses has been delayed and it is not expected to start accepting bids until 2025. 

There are at least eight other locations bidding for a casino licenses. They include:

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